I wrote more. I even made a third chapter, which will be posted in a bit. You can find both this chapter and the first one on my AO3.
This might be Crazy - Chapter 2: Capri Sun
‘I heard you actually talked with Dionysus.’
‘So he told you.’
Will shrugged. I kept walking towards the dining pavilion. ‘I asked him, and he said yes. It’s not like he told anyone else.’
‘And he shouldn’t!’ I would have actually thrown hands if he had told the whole camp, even though that was more dangerous for me than for him.
‘Sh. I am just glad you are getting help.’
‘Nico, therapy will take some time.’
I looked at the ground. ‘He’s the God of madness, Will. Time is not the biggest concern.’ Will sighed and put his arm around my shoulder.
‘It’ll be alright.’ Sure, sure.
I sat down at my own table instead of going to Apollo’s table with Will. I needed some time to process this. A sandwich appeared on my plate. I turned around and walked to the flames to sacrifice some of it to the gods (some to my father. Some to Hestia). When I came back to my table, I noticed that there was a juice box standing next to my utensils. Demeters’ Divine Orange Juice. I looked at the head table. After a few seconds, Dionysus made eye contact with me. He gave me a small nod. It was apparently time again.
After breakfast, I stayed at my table. Will gave me a reassuring smile while he walked away. I sighed deeply.
Dionysus waited until every single person had left the dining pavilion before he came over to me. ‘Nico di Angelo.’
‘Do you remember what we talked about last time?’
‘We talked about that there are voices in my head.’
He nodded. ‘Is there anything you want say about our last talk?’
‘I have no idea why I told you anything at all.’ I stabbed my straw into the juice box.
I looked up at him. ‘Understandable?’
‘I actually think so. Why would you tell me anything at all?’
I thought about that for a moment. It did not sound like a rethorical question.
‘…In order to get… help.’ ‘Better’ was the word I had thought of, but it did not feel like that was possible. So I said help. ‘Or because Will said so. Or both.’ Yeah. ‘Probably both.’
Dionysus nodded. I brought the juice carton to my lips and took a sip. It tasted like regular orange juice. Nothing divine about it. Demeters’ Divine Dragon Fruit Juice had been better. ‘I would say that it is a good thing that you did.’
That seemed like the time to run. If the god of revelry says it’s a good thing, it might not be a good thing. For a moment, I thought about saying that out loud. I elected not to. ‘Hm.’
‘Do you have any idea yet about why the voices make you feel trapped?’
I looked him dead in the eye. He knew exactly why. He had been right there in New Rome, with the twin giants. At this point, I decided that it didn’t matter anyway. ‘You know why.’
‘Perhaps I do. Perhaps I thought it might be easier for you to say it yourself than it is to have someone spell it out to you.’
‘You could have assumed it.’
‘What kind of therapist just assumes things?’
‘What kind of…’ therapist is the god of alcohol. I swallowed the sentence just in time. I looked away. The dining pavilion was so… empty.
‘You must be thinking I am not much of a therapist, so why would I care?’ Oh, so this guy could read minds, like some campers guessed. ‘You are not the first demigod I ever… tried to help, Nico.’ I looked at him again. If he said so. ‘Right.’
‘I am going to ask it again.’
I waited for it.
‘Do you have any idea what makes you feel trapped about the voices in your head?’
‘You worded it differently before.’
‘No. But also, the Giants. The jar. While I was in there… I could hear the voices of the Aloadae.’ It came out before I even knew it. Saying it made me feel sad and angry, to put it in very simple terms. I am sure it made me feel a whole lot of things that I have no idea how to name.
Dionysus did not immediately reply. Like he wanted it to dawn on me first.
‘It makes you feel distressed.’ Gods, we have got a big brain take over here.
‘…Yes.’ Obviously. Coeus can hand in his title, there is a new god of farsight and being obvious in town.
‘Are the voices from then similar to the voices you hear right now?’
‘I don’t know.’ Could be. Could be not.
‘They certainly do make you feel a connection between them.’ Indeed. ‘Do you think the voices from now make the trauma from then fresher?’
A tear rolled down my cheek. I just stared at the table. This god-man-person-whatever had actually managed to make me cry. What he said sounded plausible. ‘No.’ He stayed silent.
‘Maybe.’ I felt like I had regained some control over myself.
‘Is it too much?’
‘Are you thinking about stopping again? We just started!’
‘You manage to say a lot in just a few sentences. That is actually pretty impressive, Nico.’ I took a small sip of orange juice. The orange on the carton had a smiley face. It was actually pretty terrifying. ‘Still. Also, can this be anything else? I might get nightmares from the smiley face.’ The juicebox transformed into a pouch of Capri-sun. ‘Oh, that’s Wills’ favorite. Perfect.’ I pricked my straw through the pouch again. ‘And…’ I tried to keep myself composed. ‘I do think the current… situation… makes the memories worse. Makes the memories make me feel worse.’
Dionysus looked at the table for some time, as if even he wondered whether he should ask the next question. He took a deep breath. ‘You went through more than… just the situation with the jar.’ I looked into his eyes - it made me feel weird. He looked so concerned. Worried. ‘You have had more… troubles.’
I know what he meant. Tartarus. There were voices there, too. And I should not forget about King Minos, who was constantly whispering things in my ear for half a year. And I did not even think about… Right - now it was indeed becoming a little too much for one session. ‘Maybe… you are right. As in, it is more than just the jar, but also in the part where you said that it might become too much right now.’ I nodded a few times. A little bit of capri-sun leaked onto my hand - I was putting so much presure on it that I was pushing the juice… or soft drink… or whatever, out (seriously, what is capri-sun?).
‘Than we are stopping for now.’
‘But you shared a lot. Did you learn anything concretely?’
‘There is even more under the surface?’
‘And don’t squeeze too hard in your Capri-sun pouch?’
‘Exactly.’ I couldn’t help it - even though my head was filled with doom and gloom, I laughed. A second Capri-sun pouch appeared next to me. ‘For that boyfriend of yours.’
‘Thanks. I expect a carton of strawberry milk next time.’
He rolled his eyes while he disappeared, leaving me behind with a whole lot to think about, but also with not one, but two pouches filled with Capri-sun.